an agricultural implement with spikelike teeth or upright disks, drawn chiefly over plowed land to level it, break up clods, root up weeds, etc.
verb (used with object)
to draw a harrow over (land).
to disturb keenly or painfully; distress the mind, feelings, etc., of.
verb (used without object)
to become broken up by harrowing, as soil.
Origin of harrow1
1250–1300; Middle English harwe; akin to Old Norse herfi harrow, Dutch hark rake, Greek krṓpion sickleRelated formshar·row·er, noun
verb (used with object) Archaic.
to ravish; violate; despoil.
(of Christ) to descend into (hell) to free the righteous held captive.
Origin of harrow2
before 1000; Middle English harwen, herwen, Old English hergianRelated formshar·row·ment, noun
a borough of Greater London, in SE England.
a boarding school for boys, founded in 1571 at Harrow-on-the-Hill, an urban district near London, England.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for harrowdevastate
Examples from the Web for harrow
Contemporary Examples of harrow
And watching these two programs side by side makes one feel infinitely happier to have been expelled from Eton than from Harrow.
Bo Guagua went to two private boarding schools, Papplewick and Harrow, before going on to study at Balliol College, Oxford.
He wrote all those poems about his schoolboy days at Harrow.
Historical Examples of harrow
British Dictionary definitions for harrow
any of various implements used to level the ground, stir the soil, break up clods, destroy weeds, etc, in soil
Derived Formsharrower, nounharrowing, adjective, noun
(tr) to draw a harrow over (land)
(intr) (of soil) to become broken up through harrowing
(tr) to distress; vex
Word Origin for harrow
C13: of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish harv, Swedish harf; related to Middle Dutch harke rake
verb (tr) archaic
Derived Formsharrowment, noun
to plunder or ravish
(of Christ) to descend into (hell) to rescue righteous souls
Word Origin for harrow
C13: variant of Old English hergian to harry
a borough of NW Greater London; site of an English boys' public school founded in 1571 at Harrow-on-the-Hill, a part of this borough. Pop: 210 700 (2003 est). Area: 51 sq km (20 sq miles)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for harrow
agricultural implement, heavy wooden rake, c.1300, haru, from Old English *hearwa, apparently related to Old Norse harfr "harrow," and perhaps connected with Old English hærfest "harvest" (see harvest). Or possibly from hergian (see harry).
"to drag a harrow over," especially in harrowing of Hell in Christian theology, early 14c., from hergian (see harry). In the figurative sense of "to wound the feelings, distress greatly" it is first attested c.1600 in Shakespeare. Related: Harrowed; harrowing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper